Friday, September 23, 2011

AF marathon, first half day at work, and an active baby!

Has it really been another 2 weeks already?  Yup, coupled with a very busy AF marathon weekend, I'd say time has not slowed down one bit!  Some of the highlights of AF marathon weekend: we got to see Kristen Ott and Kris & Erinn Merritt and their boys Cooper, Lucas and Noah at the "carbo-load" dinner at Bekah Stueckle's house along with Bekah and Jon's little boy David (Jon was still TDY) and Nick and I ran our 10K races without much training (don't do this at home), and Olivia did great with her Godparents Mark and Jackie.  Actually Nick and I both did fine, considering we have not been able to train much.  His time was just over an hour and I finished in 1:16, with a little walking.  Yes, he beat me this time...but it'll most likely be the only time...ha.  We were both a little surprised that we weren't way slower.  It did take quite a bit of planning to wake up early, pack the van (yes we have a van - an '03 Honda Odyssey courtesy of my generous parents when my mom upgraded vehicles - I love it but Nick isn't always thrilled about driving it, but admits that it has a lot of power for a van), dropping off Olivia off early in the morning with all of the items she needs (cloth diapers with accessories, extra clothes, blankets, outfits, milk that I had pumped and stored in advance...I'm sure there were more stuff...).  The weather was absolutely amazing, starting out at around 50s and rising to maybe around 68...absolutely gorgeous!  We were not going for time, we just wanted to participated.  Thank goodness we did NOT sign up for the half marathon actually needs to train for that distance!

Now onto the first half day at work.  Why half-day?  It's a weird AF rule that says if you're taking leave the next day and your supervisor approves, you can take off after a half day.  Why was this important?  Well, I can get home Olivia sooner that way!  I also don't have be charged leave for over the weekend.  If I didn't come in that Monday and continued to be on leave from the Friday prior to the weekend I'd be charged for Saturday and Sunday...yes, unfortunately that's how that works.  I was very appreciative that our good friend Mrs. Misuk Goltz could come over and watch Olivia until I came home around 11:30 am.  I'm not going to lie, it was strange going to work, starting up my computer and logging in.  I think I had something like over 600 emails, of which probably 50 said "your inbox is over its size limit"...yeah, by just a little!  :-)  I spent the morning going through emails, catching up with the office (there has been a of changes), and orienting myself in my cubicle.  Yes, I lost my office during my maternity leave.  We had a few incoming officers who all outrank me so I've been demoted.  :-P  But, I'm not super sad about my cubicle, it's by the large row of windows so at least I'll have natural lighting!  I finished going through emails and proceeded to take more leave.  Then I hopped over to my grad school building to get my flu shot and flew back home.  I was glad to see Olivia!  (Yes, I had only been to work since 6:30 that morning, but I missed my little girl!).  She was in good hands though, although Mrs. G was probably too nice to her and held her most of the time whereas I'd let her fuss and cry for a little bit before going to soothe her since I don't want her to rely on being held too much...but she's still little so I let people hold her usually for as long as they want.  :-)  That afternoon I started to get a headache and felt really tired...and this upgraded to a low-grade fever and mild chills that night.  It turns out the flu shot was to blame.  Luckily I got over it the next morning.

Nick, being a computer scientist, loves technology, electronics, and gadgets.  He installed this awesome little camera that allows our phones to be used as on-the-go baby monitors that we can use everywhere!  This is super helpful as we always have our phones on us and can log on anytime to look at the baby.  Our parents and friends can also log on from the internet to check in on Olivia anytime they want too - double dose of awesomeness!  So, two nights ago, I woke up around 3 am, as I'm accustomed to doing since that's usually when a night feeding takes place.  I thought I'd check in on my phone to see how Olivia is doing.  Mind you, this is what she looks like when I put her to bed, all swaddled up: (Yes, I can take pics using the app from the camera!  I love technology!)

This was what she looked like at 3 am when I checked in on her from the phone:

I had to keep from laughing hysterically in an attempt not to wake Nick up.  Yes, she managed to break out of her swaddle completely, proceeded to move 90 degrees clockwise, and was happily and loudly sucking on her thumb.  Yes, unfortunately she has found her thumb and loves sucking on it.  My mom and grandmother tell me that I was also a happy thumb-sucker whose thumb looked slightly deformed because I sucked on it so hard... embarrassing...but apparently that's a sign of self-soothers and not always a bad thing.  She wasn't crying one bit and who knows how long she had been like that...silly girl...

I guess the last thing I wanted to say is that I have been fairly proud of a lot of things I've done in my life.  Immigrating to the US at 10 years old, learning English from scratch, getting settled in the U.S., becoming an American citizen, being accepted and graduating from the Air Force Academy, becoming an AF officer, marrying my best friend, graduating with my master's from graduate school, but of all of those things, nothing compares to having Olivia.  Yes, I'm most proud of myself for having her...with Nick, of course, and becoming a mother.  :-)  Funny, most people may not list that at the top of their life's list of accomplishment...but life's funny that way...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting into a routine...

1 month 9 days old - that's how old Olivia is today!  It's hard to believe my 6 week maternity leave is up in less than a week!  Fear not, I've been told I can take more time off (fingers crossed).  I had a really nice visit from our friend, neighbor, and fellow USAFA '05 graduate Paula Delapasse, her kiddos (Lilith and new son Jacob) and her mother a few weeks back.  I picked Paula's brain about how to put a baby on a schedule that enabled her to go back to work with Lilith, and as always, she provided some excellent ideas.  We're making some progress toward a schedule, although O is still feeding on demand, which makes predictability spotty at times. 

Overall I strive to feed her at 3 am,  6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm, and maybe 12 am if she's not asleep yet.  BUT, almost immediately after coming home she's been generally sleeping from approximately 10 pm until about 3 am, sometimes longer, skipping the 12 am feeding.  Last night she slept from about 11 pm until 5:30 am!!!  I was up by 4 am because I was so full and ready to nurse her...too bad she wasn't ready and I really didn't want to wake her up, so I just read on my iPhone until she woke up since I was so uncomfortable.  I'm thinking this may be a fluke and she's not ready to sleep "through the night" yet since at the most she is 10 pounds and babies typically don't start sleeping long hours until they're at least 11 to 12 pounds.  Still, it's wishful thinking...if only my milk supply would adjust too!  :-P  Overall (knock on wood), O has been a really good baby.  She typically only fusses if she's hungry, has a dirty diaper, is gassy, or REALLY tired to where she needs some soothing.  Generally she's a self soother and will "sing or talk" to herself to sleep in her crib, which is awesome.

Nick and I have talked casually about me leaving the Air Force and staying at home.  While I would love to do that, the AF did send me to graduate school while paying me full alas, I owe three years.  I really would love to stay home with my precious girl, especially while she's little, but go back to work when she's a bit older.  Too bad the military doesn't work that way.  One can't just leave for a few years and decide to go back.  So for now I just want to spend as much time as I can with her.  Nick's parents were here for Labor Day weekend, and on Sunday we left to go to the nearby outdoor mall known as the Greene, for lunch.  Even though we were only two miles away I thought about her almost constantly and even asked Nick to do a quick call-in to check on her...oye...Nick gave me a hard time about this and I'm sure I'll get better as I'm used to being away from her more.  Nevertheless, it won't be easy going back to work...hopefully mama and baby can make the transition smoothly...

While Nick's parents were here, Nick and his Dad had a good time riding their motorcycles (yes, his Dad brought the bobber he just built on a trailer from North Carolina - they're Harley fanatics, what can I say) and his mom, O and I had a good, but tiring time vising the mall with a grocery trip to Trader Joe's and Kroger's squeezed in at the end of the day.  Since O hates her infant seat, I have panic attacks trying to get her anywhere - so with a day out I must try to get to everything while I have the opportunity.  Really, it's getting better, as long as I time it just right with a feeding beforehand, a clean diaper, then off to run errands while she sleeps.

In general, I'm finally starting to feel like myself again.  I felt fairly good early on (aside from the healing pain), but took a dive when the mastitis hit around 3 weeks.  Now I try to rest as much as I can during the day, but I finally feel like I can get back to putting this house together.  Yes, I'm embarrassed to say I've really let the house go in terms of cleanliness...when my mom was here she literally scrubbed everything from the top down while O and I were stuck at the hospital for two days.  But since it's been almost six weeks, the house and especially kitchen can really use a good scrubb'in.  Luckily I think I can tackle some chores today!

I leave you with my new favorite picture of our baby girl!